A QUILTER’S HANDS
© Vickey Stamps (3/23/13)
Her fingers were gnarled and painful, despite the simple purchased medication she used, and despite the salted and warm water soaks she often had to soak her hands I so she could do her beloved quilting. She worked now on a technique new to her. Perhaps it would be her last quilt, for her years were many. To see the true colors she would use, upon her quilts, she, more and more often, would take up a hand held magnifying glass. She would label the cloth with the name of its memory and set it aside.
She watched a quilt forum almost every morning, and had began to think on those quilts called a landscape quilt. She’d never made such a thing before, but she knew she would. It would be a picture of soft beauty. There would be a blue sky, sun kissed clouds, a small lake, a picnic table and a flower bordered patch of grass. Peacefull scenes were a good thing, and more so in her advancing age. Picking up her needle, and using a pretty shade of green fabric with images of leaf’s upon its surface, she placed it on a softly batted foundation. The cloth would become part of a miniature quilt to hang upon her wall. With a bit of blue, she added fabric in multi-shades of blue, making a little lake to run along what would turn out to be a picnic area.
Another even deeper shade of blue, equal to a warm summer day came next, her having already appliqued the lake and picnic area together. Upon it, and to the east, rose the sun warming the earth. Part of the sun was covered with fluffy looking white clouds of a white on white cloth. Wisps of the clouds looked as if they were making their way westward across the sky. At last all was sewn into place. The woman held it before her, thinking on the simply combination of it all, and what laid ahead tomorrow. For now, she would go and take some medication to ease the pain. She curled her fingers into the palms of her hands and then stretched them out and apart, giving them exercise, hoping to free herself from the spasms from the tiny stitches she’d made this day upon the cloth canvas. Maybe she’d give her hands the luxury of a warm soak, before going out to do the few errands needing doing. Life wasn’t always kind to people, she thought, but she was walking, talking and breathing, and if it didn’t get any better than that, she still would treasure each moment.
The old woman had placed a picnic table with a true look of wood colors upon the surface upon the grass of the quilt. A small bench ran along each longer side of it. Above it and slightly behind she had appliqued a tall tree that would shade those that would, in her mind, come to sit at the table. Surrounding in part, and to the right of the tree and table, were borders of flowers in multi colors and height. Their colors were bright and they were in numbers more then a hundred. Now the bowed forward and sideways, from the gentle breeze that came to kiss their petals. A small bird with a chest of red, flew across, circled once, and landed on a branch above the table. Perhaps it would sing a tune to those who would sit at the table.
All the pictures had come to her from the memories of the old family album laying open now, upon her lap. It held the colors of those things and people that lived within its yellowed adhesive pages. There were so many memories, some bringing a smile, some not so much.
It had taken her many hours of pain in her hands to finish the wall quilt, but now it rested before he. A binding of complimentary colors surround the picture within the quilt. She’d made a hanging sleeve upon the back, so it could rest evenly upon the wall.
She smiled upon the simple work of art she had made, and was pleased with herself. When the pictures were gone or discarded, and herself no longer a part of the world, perhaps the quilt would live on. Maybe others would look upon it, and make up their own stories about what the quilt would mean. That would be okay.
Life was good.